Gemini

What Is Gemini?

Gemini is a privately-owned cryptocurrency exchange that lets you buy, sell, trade, and securely store more than 60 cryptocurrencies. It was launched in 2014 by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss under the formal name Gemini Trust Co., LLC.

Gemini has a tiered service with separate interfaces and fee structures for casual investors and hardcore traders. It has a mobile app, a payment app, and its own currency, the Gemini dollar. Unlike most cryptocurrencies, the Gemini dollar is a "stablecoin" tied to the U.S. dollar.

Key Takeaways

  • Gemini is a cryptocurrency platform with a website and a mobile app for buying, selling, storing, and spending cryptocurrencies.
  • Its major selling points are security and ease of use.
  • It supports trading in more than 120 cryptocurrencies and has its own currency, the Gemini stablecoin.
  • Since its 2014 founding, Gemini has added a payment app, an interest-paying savings account, a credit card, and a trading platform.

Understanding Gemini

The majority owners of Gemini are Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Besides owning the Gemini exchange, the Winklevoss twins are also known for accepting a $65 million settlement against Mark Zuckerberg in which they claimed that Facebook was their idea and Zuckerberg stole it, as dramatized in the movie "The Social Network." At the time, all three were students at Harvard University.

Gemini History

Launched in 2014, the exchange went live for customers in the United States in October 2015. By mid-2016, the business was going international, initially in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Gemini soon expanded to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan to cater to the skyrocketing population of Asian cryptocurrency enthusiasts. The exchange operates in over 60 countries worldwide.

In September 2016, Gemini introduced the first-ever daily bitcoin auction, a method followed in all modern crypto exchanges. Daily ether auctions were launched in July 2017.

Gemini's focus is on user security. Most users' crypto is stored in offline "cold storage" while the ready money is held in an insured "hot wallet."

Like other digital currency exchanges, Gemini allows you to buy and sell various digital currencies, either with digital currency (for example, using bitcoin to buy litecoin) or using fiat currency to buy digital currencies.

How to Trade on Gemini

Barring the occasional maintenance window, the Gemini exchange operates on a 24/7 basis. Similar to any online broker, a standard market order on Gemini is filled immediately at the best available market price at that instant. Gemini also offers a variety of limit orders. They include immediate-or-cancel (IOC), maker-or-cancel (MOC), stop-limit, and fill-or-kill (FOK) orders.

All orders sent on Gemini have to be fully funded, as the exchange does not offer margin trading like that offered by competitors such as Kraken. It also does not allow short trading.

Customers must link a bank account and initiate a wire transfer or an ACH deposit from a bank to trade on the platform.

Notable Gemini Products and Services

In its early days, Gemini appeared to be positioned as an exchange for institutional traders, not individual investors. It was also, naturally enough, primarily a Bitcoin marketplace. That has changed. More than 120 cryptocurrencies can be bought and sold on Gemini, and all levels of investors and traders are welcome.

Gemini's Fees

Gemini has separate fee structures for its products and services. For instance, traders using Active Trader have fees that range from 0.30% to 0.03% for takers, and 0.20% to 0.00% for makers. The lower your 30-day trading volume, the higher your fees.

Fees for mobile, web orders, crypto custody, and transfers range from small dollar amounts to transaction percentages.

Gemini Active Trader Platform

Gemini offers a trading platform for active traders that allows you to fill orders, view order books, and trade pairs. You can trade currency pairs in several combinations. The combinations include over 90 U.S. dollar (USD)/crypto pairs and more than 20 crypto/crypto pairs.

While individual customers are given the default, zero-fee, depository account type, large institutional customers can opt for a segregated custody account type with an offline, secure, and auditable storage the company calls its Cold Storage system. The service is intended for institutional customers like mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and hedge funds.

Gemini Clearing

Gemini's clearing services provide a trusted solution by facilitating off-exchange trades and speeding up transactions. Both parties in a transaction must be fully funded, and the trades are settled using Gemini's services.

Gemini Custody

The exchange is licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to hold a customer’s digital assets in trust. Your digital currency holdings are held in accordance with reserve requirements and banking compliance standards. Gemini is also obligated to maintain and fulfill required cybersecurity measures.

Gemini has a banking relationship with a New York State-chartered bank, State Street, where all customer funds are retained. The platform's adherence to conventional banking requirements ensures that money in whatever form is backed by adequate monetary reserves.

Gemini also insures up to $200 million in cryptocurrency holdings for losses from theft resulting from a hack of the exchange's hot wallet service, a fraudulent transfer initiated by Gemini, or theft by a Gemini employee.

Gemini Earn

Gemini treats your stored crypto as if it was in a savings account, bond, or other interest-bearing product. Crypto held by the exchange in your account is rewarded with up to 8.05% APY compounded daily.

Gemini Credit Card

Cryptocurrency owners earn cryptocurrency rewards using their Gemini credit card on dining, groceries, and other purchases.

Is Gemini a Good Exchange?

It depends on what you believe a good exchange is. Gemini is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services and offers many products and services. It also provides users with insurance on their holdings under specific circumstances.

Is Gemini Better Than Coinbase?

Each exchange is different, but both offer many of the same services. It's best to compare the two and choose the one that provides the services you need.

Can You Exchange Crypto on Gemini?

Yes. Gemini offers exchange services as well as crypto trading and other products.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein.

Article Sources
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